I'm late to note, but not to mourn, the passing of Steve Gilliard, blogger and public intellectual. I've missed his writing since he fell ill, and now all we'll have of his thoughts is what we already have. But that is a lot.
I had no idea until I saw his picture posted after his death that he was black. Which led me to muse about one of the things I love most about blogging and the online world - that you get to know people through their words and thoughts, without the distractions of external appearances. And when you read someone's words regularly you do get a sense of who they are - of how well informed they are, and how deeply they think. The people whose words I read daily have made an enormous impact on me even though I know next to nothing about the external trappings of their lives.
My greatest sympathy to Steve's family and friends. At least they can take comfort in the fact that so many people are aware of the magnitude of their loss.